This afternoon the 8th Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) announced the winners for the HAF Awards, the Wouter Barendrecht Award, the Technicolor Asia Award, and the Paris Project Award, as the final act in the perfectly formed and beautifully choreographed three day event.
HAF saw a 10% increase in film financiers from Mainland China this year, as well as a 10% rise in confirmed appointments, which ran to over 500 and didn’t include the many casual meetings and discussions taking place throughout the three days, both within the official HAF venue and elsewhere around the Convention Centre.
25 selected projects from 17 territories including 12 co-productions competed for prizes and, arguably more importantly, delivered themselves up to the scrutiny, encouragement and support of various commissioners, distributors, financiers, bankers and other money-types over the three days of the event.
Widely recognized as the most important film-financing platform in Asia, HAF is attended by more than 1,000 filmmakers and financiers from over 35 countries.
HAF has the proof of its value very much in its pudding, with alumni projects from previous forums winning 10 of the 14 competitive awards on offer at Monday evening’s Asian Film Awards.
Mother took home Best Actress (Kim Hye-ja), Best Screenwriter (Park Eun-kyo, Bong Joon-ho) and Best Film; City of Life and Death/Nanjing! Nanjing! took Best Cinematographer (Cao Yu) and Best Director (Lu Chuan); Karaoke took Best Editor (Lee Chatametikool); Bodyguards and Assassins took Best Supporting Actor (Nicholas Tse) and Best Actor (Wang Xueqi); and At the End of Daybreak took Best Newcomer (Ng Meng Hui) and Best Supporting Actress (Wai Ying-hung).
Much of the business of the forum is done quietly, without fanfare, so – given the peacefulness of the event – the closing awards ceremony was conducted with decorum except for the applause greeting the award winners as they were announced.
HAF gives two awards itself, each worth a very welcome HK$150,000 (NZ$30,000): one for a project originating in Hong Kong, for a project originating elsewhere.
Three sponsored awards are also offered: the Technicolor Asia Award, to a project that shows the highest potential for film financing and is prepared to carry out its post-production in Thailand – obviously a real hardship; the Paris Project Award, whose winner is shouted a trip to Paris by the Paris Cinema International Film Festival; and the inaugural Wouter Barendrecht Award, a sad addition to the roll in that it is presented in memory of the late Wouter Barendrecht, renowned film producer and one of the founders of HAF.
And the winners were …
For a project originating in Hong Kong
The Enchanter, Kwok Tsz-kin: HK$150,000.
For a project originating outside of Hong Kong:
Twins (The Philippines), Sherad Anthony Sanchez: HK$150,000.
The Technicolor Asia Award:
Cosplay (China/ France), Sheng Zhimin: in-kind prize worth US$25,000 (approximately HK$195,000).
The Paris Project Award:
I Love You So Much (Taiwan) by Leon Dai: €5,000 (approx. HK$50,000), including one round-trip ticket and hotel accommodation to participate in Paris Project 2010.
The Wouter Barendrecht award:
Mama Eva (Hong Kong/ China/ Switzerland) by Kit Hung: HK$50,000.